A significantly higher presence of the virus Covid-19 was found in the airways of patients up to five years.
The percentage of genetic material of coronavirus in the nose of children under five years of age is 10 to 100 times higher than in older children and adults, according to a US study published on Thursday.
Pretty young children could therefore be major carriers of the virus Covid-19 in the population, according to a study published on Thursday in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics. But the hypothesis of a study conducted by scientists from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital and Northwestern University contradicts earlier claims.
The government of US President Donald Trump has been pushing for weeks for the opening of schools and kindergartens in the states in order to promote economic recovery.
From March 23 to April 27, scientists took samples from the noses of a group of 145 patients suffering from mild to moderate Covid-19 disease within a week of the first symptoms appearing in these individuals. The patients were divided into three groups: 46 children under five years of age, 51 children aged 5 to 17 years and 48 adults aged 18 to 65 years.
The researchers found that Covid-19 was present in the airways of one group of infants at “10 to 100 times higher levels” than in the other two groups.
They point out that the laboratory study proved that the more genetic material of the virus is present, the more infectious it is.
– Consequently, young children can be the main carriers of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the population, the authors say.
“Given the normal behavior of young children, the question arises as to how SARS-CoV-2 will spread in this age group if sanitary measures are relaxed,” they conclude. So far, there is little research on this aspect of the spread of the infection.
Apart from the fact that the study may help to investigate the health effects, the authors believe that the results could help to implement the vaccination once the Covid 19 vaccine is available.
According to a study conducted in South Korea, children aged 10 to 19 years transmit the virus in the same way as adults in a one-person household, but children under nine years of age transmit it less.